Kicking Off the New Year

Naked Ambition is a dangerous thingToplining DVD releases this week in Hong Kong: Louis Koo and Eason Chan decide to start their own porn magazine in NAKED AMBITION. Panorama will make this available on Friday, January 9. You can learn more about the movie at the official site.

Several other titles will also be released, but I have no information on the content of the films.

Tuesday, Jan. 6:
THE S FILES: SEX MAHJONG
To be released by Maga Base Technology Limited

LITTLE WHITE DRAGON (VCD only)
To be released by Maga Base Technology Limited
With Bo Bo Fung, Ying Choi Cheung

Thursday, Jan. 8:
A CAUSE TO KILL
BLACK MAGIC
LEGENDS OF LUST
LOVE WITHOUT LUST
The latest batch of restored Shaw Brothers films from Intercontinental, coded for Region 3.

Friday, Jan. 9:
EXCESSIVE FORCE
To be released by City Connection
With Siu Wong Fan, Kit Yi Fan

As for Region 1, three Japanese titles are promised:

Blackmail is My LifeBLACKMAIL IS MY LIFE
An early effort from 1968, directed by Kinji Fukasaku (BATTLE ROYALE). It tells the story of a kid from the slums who finds blackmail to be his ticket to success and a great new way of living until he crosses paths with a particularly brutal mob boss. Judging from past releases from HVE/American Cinematheque, the print transfer should be as good as possible.

CureCURE
Kiyoshi Kurosawa directed this eerie, completely unsettling nail-biter about a very disturbing serial killer. Early Web reviews have been quite favorable about the quality of the DVD; previously it’s only been available coded for Region 3. I saw this at the first Asian Film Festival of Dallas nearly two years ago — seldom have I joined with a crowd in experiencing stomach-churning dread and chilling creepiness. Not to be missed.

Ikiru (Criterion DVD cover)IKIRU
Directed by the “other” Kurosawa, Akira, this 1952 film concerns an office worker who learns he is dying from cancer and resolves to do something with the time he has left. From the Criterion Collection; specs include a new transfer, an audio commentary by author Stephen Prince, two documentaries, and theatrical trailers. The two-disk set retails for $39.95.

Finally, the UCLA Film and Television Archive will be presenting a retrospective series on Anna May Wong. In their words: “Wong holds a unique place in Hollywood history as the first Asian American screen goddess. The unique career and talent of this Los Angeles native is long overdue for rediscovery and celebration.” Check out this link for more information; the series runs from January 9-25.

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